The nation’s capital lost out on hosting the Gay Games 2022 to Hong Kong, the federation of Gay Games announced Monday afternoon.
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and 23 city representatives flew to Paris this past weekend to make their pitch for the games during a presentation that included proposed security measures and sites for events. Guadalajara, Mexico, also was a finalist.
“Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the DC bid for 2022,” the D.C. Gay Games committee tweeted after the announcement. “While we’re disappointed, we’re proud of the work we did.”
Paris is hosting the games in August 2018, and the Federation of Gay Games convened to hear the pitches of the three finalists and make a selection Monday in the French capital.
The federation visited the three finalist cities in June and July, spending 3 1/2 days in each location.
“The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly elevating all matters of LGBT+ equality,” the federation wrote in a statement.
Bowser said in an interview last week that the games would have been a financial boon to the city, with more than 15,000 participants and tens of thousands of spectators likely to attend. She said the city committed to putting $2 million toward the games.
“We think, especially now, it is important for the United States to demonstrate that it is an open and welcoming place, and it is especially important for us as Washingtonians to show that we are an international city and we celebrate sport,” Bowser said last week.
After Monday’s announcement, she tweeted “Congrats to Hong Kong. We hope the 2022 Gay Games spark reforms to bring about equality for our LGBTQ friends there.”
The Gay Games in Paris are scheduled for Aug. 4 to Aug. 12 next year. The federation said it will have 36 sports, 14 cultural events, an academic conference and up to 15,000 participants from 70 countries.
The District also made unsuccessful bids to host the 2014 Gay Games and the 2024 Olympics.